Wednesday, August 21, 2019

The "Adventure" Shows Up

On our way home from Bishopville and the museums, we found we had circled around and come into Lugoff from farther north than before. We were headed for a Captain D's. Although there are some up in Jacksonville there are none in areas we usually go to and right now is lobster roll season which I love.

No, Their lobster rolls are not as good as the ones we found at Cousins Maine Lobster in Neptune Beach closer to home but those are made with Maine lobster and are much more expensive although absolutely delicious. (Yes, I got a ball cap when we went to Cousins.)

After a quiet night at the RV park, we headed home. We stopped at the first Flying J on the route and then headed home, cheering when we approached the Georgia/Florida line. Up to this point we had not had anything that would come under the heading of an adventure but we were thinking ahead of ourselves.

Less than 100 miles to home and thump ... thump ... thump ... something was loose or caught up there and slapping the roof. Not good! Geoffrey slowed down and pulled off at the next exit. As soon as he went out there the problem was fairly obvious, the windshield gasket had broken loose at the top drivers side corner and peeled off most of the way across the top!

Geoff got hold of the gasket and wrapped the loose end around my side mirror and duct taped it down. and we gingerly headed on down the road at a steady 50 miles an hour, any faster and the gasket would flap dangerously. We stopped to check it a couple of times and found that where he had taped it to the windshield wouldn't hold but slowly we made progress.

Of course, at the same time my GPS tablet decided to get cranky and lie about where we were ... it seemed to be stuck miles away from where we were. It had been a tad cranky a time or two already but before it had always starightened up, not this time. Guess the poor old thing just couldn't take it anymore. Good thing we knew our way home from where we were!

At the same time my left foot is so hot and swollen it is threatening to explode ... okay, it just feels like it I don't think it's going to actually explode. Then we get about ten miles from our home exit and now, in this very last stretch, traffic has slowed down to an average 20 miles an hour. We never did see the cause although we did see a couple of tow trucks head north with mangled vehicles aboard, no way to know if they were related.

We made it home and parked Wolf in the driveway. Being a Sunday we had to wait until the next day to make any calls but we got scheduled in for Tuesday and Ray's Commercial Center, a local business we trust, got it done that same day. We are also starting to talk about getting a small trailer, light enough for our Subaru Ascent to pull.

As to my foot ... ordered one of those Revitive machines as it might help the swelling problem on trips and the lower leg cramps that give me trouble at home. Worth a shot anyway! Looking at replacements for my GPS as well. At least we are safely home!

Two, Count 'Em, Two Museums

It's Friday morning and we're in no hurry as we only have an hour or two to travel today. We're headed for Lugoff, South Carolina, on I 20 close to halfway between Columbia and Florence.

We ignored the GPS's attempt to route us again through teeny tiny side roads going back to I 77 heading south. We soon got to our exit and took SC 34 east to Lugoff. Just before we reached our turn onto US 691 we spotted a Shoney's, just right for a late lunch and pitstop.

Lugoff is a small town situated mostly just north of I 20 although its borders overlap I 20 and include the Columbia-Camden RV Park we are headed for. The park is south of I 20 just off South Carolina Route 12.

Although quite near the interstate, you can't hear the traffic. It doesn't seem to have much in the way of amenities like swimming pools and the like but that's reflected in the low price.

It is nicely laid out and keeps an area for short stay RV'ers like us or those just wanting an overnight on their way from one place to another. We definitely liked it a lot better than the more expensive Crown Cove.
The next day we headed for nearby Bishopville and two museums conveniently located right next to each other, in fact they overlap each other on the inside. Many online references refer to the Lee County Veterans Museum having a home at the South Carolina Cotton Museum. 
The Veterans Museum houses collections of military objects collected by local veterans and has an interesting exhibit of these uniforms and equipment such as the hanging dogtags shown to the right. It is also where several local veterans groups meet and has space to host community events. Although worth looking at if you are there, it alone is probably not worth visiting.

It is the South Carolina Cotton Museum that makes the stop worthwhile. We have to admit that until this visit we knew only a very little about the whole process and history of growing and processing cotton. 

Cotton grows in fields on bushes ... briefly being a flower and then becoming a boll that, when it is ripe, splits open showing the soft cotton fibers within. These fibers are what is harvested and then processed to remove the seeds. At this point it is packed into bales that are shipped by wagon, train, and ship to lots of places. After this it is processed into thread, fabrics, and even into paper such as is used for currency.

There's a gigantic model of a boll weevil which is actually quite tiny, averaging about 1/4 inch in size. Much is explained about how this little bug can ruin crops and what has been done to get rid of it. The exhibits show many of the ways used over time to transport the raw cotton and to process cotton fibers into thread and then into fabric and includes cotton related artwork.

Of course I spent some time in the gift shop, buying a cotton boll, and a lovely little undyed throw and of course a ball cap! I think I restrained myself rather well on this trip ... six places to stop at and only three new ball caps for the collection. Okay, truthful disclosure ... one stop, the phone museum, got eliminated, and neither the veterans museum nor the Lee County museum had ball caps. I'll let you do the math.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Some Disappointment

We've been pretty lucky finding places to see and do ... well, today didn't start too well anyway. It rained overnight and we'd left the awning out so it got nice and wet. And my foot had started swelling again, a cause for which we have yet to find. I blogged about my swelling problem back in 2016 in Medical Digression and we pretty much found a lot of things it isn't. It does seem to be related to the heat especially on my foot and perhaps the vibration of the engine. Whatever it is, here it comes again as it has on several of our trips.

Our plan for today was to head out and first locate the Comporium Telephone Museum to make locating it the next day an easier trip. Well, trying to find the museum is how we discovered that the GPS routes drag one all over these rinky dink little roads through developments marked private, no fun to drive in an RV for sure. 

We finally got to Rock Hill where the museum is and found that it is located in downtown Rock Hill and is on what is no longer a road but is now a walkway. There was no where reasonable to park Wolf and in fact turning around was difficult! We decided not to attempt this stop tomorrow although if you are in a car and can park somewhere reasonably close it still sounds interesting!
Once we got ourselves sorted out again we headed for the Museum of York County. This turned out to be a little treasure. There is decent parking just below the building probably because they have buses full of school children at times. The museum itself is a naturalist's dream about the Carolina Piedmont.
Aimed principally at elementary and middle school children with exhibits, tours, and programs, it is enjoyable and informative for aged adults like us!  Along the hallway are exhibits showing the whole process for the taxidermy and other work necessary to create the exhibits, fascinating! Every where there are displays and presentations of both the terrain and the occupants - flora and fauna - of the Piedmont area of the Carolinas. 

Of course I had to visit the gift shop ... not only do I like souvenirs and reminders but it is also a way to help support the location. I found two inexpensive souvenirs here. One was a small square plate with a howling wolf on it ... a wolf, how could I resist. The other was less than a dollar but brought back memories...

Aunt Kates on the Tolomato River in St Augustine
About three years ago, Geoffrey's sister and her husband were down to visit us here in Florida. We met them one evening for dinner at Aunt Kates, an excellent restaurant on the Tolomato River, part of the Intercoastal Waterway. Geoffrey and his sister were very not interested in them but her husband and I decided to split a bucket of the local steamed oysters.

An Oyster Crab
Neither he nor I knew anything about oyster crabs. Better known by some as pea crabs, these are tiny little crabs about the size of a penny that live inside the oyster.

Now, I know it sounds sort of ewwww! but apparently these tiny crabs are a delicacy and we should have eaten them. But remember at the time we had no clue what these little orange things were in a few of the oysters so we left them alone.

Still not at all sure I would eat one delicacy or not!

Hermit Crab figure
Anyway, back to the Museum of York County gift shop. There at the register they had acrylic boxes displaying several different tiny inexpensive creature figures.

A blue butterfly caught my attention at first but then I saw this tiny hermit crab and it brought back the memories of that dinner and the oyster crabs so I had to get one, especially at the less than a dollar price!

Okay, they don't look precisely alike but there is enough resemblance the memories come back and it's a good memory. I think I will keep it! Besides, I don't think they make Oyster Crab figures.

We left the museum in the early to mid afternoon and stopped at Culvers for lunch, some what of a fast food burger and soft serve ice cream place. There are Culvers locations in Florida but the nearest is over 20 miles away from us in Middleburg and only recently opened so we figured this fell under our rule of not eating in places we can go from home.

Another early evening and bedtime ... we did get the awning dried out anyway.